Reed Smith names new leadership as 35-year veteran retires

by Steve Randall09 Jul 2019

Reed Smith names new leadership as 35-year veteran retires

Reed Smith has announced some leadership changes as one of its long-time partners retires.

The current chair of the firm’s Global Litigation Department, Douglas E. Cameron becomes managing partner for the Americas and is succeeded by Peter M. Smith, current co-chair of the Global Commercial Disputes Department. Smith is succeeded by Janet Kwuon.

Cameron moves to the role vacated by Michael B. Pollack as he retires from the firm after 35 years including terms as global head of strategy and chief legal officer.

“Reed Smith is fortunate to have a deep bench of experienced partners who are extremely capable of assuming these top leadership positions,” said Sandy Thomas, the firm’s Global Managing Partner. “These three partners – Doug Cameron, Peter Ellis and Janet Kwuon – have already served in important leadership roles at the firm for years, and I am looking forward to their contributions to our clients, our partnership and our business.”

Thomas paid tribute to Michael Pollack acknowledging his spearheading of the firm’s most important growth initiative for more than two decades.

A&O marks 10 years of its work experience initiative

Allen & Overy has marked a decade of an initiative launched in the UK and since expanded to Hong Kong, India, and South Africa.

The firm’s Smart Start program gives young people aged 16-17 from deprived backgrounds, the opportunity to work in a global law firm. The aim is to address the issue of work experience being handed out based on ‘who you know.’

Smart Start was a vision of former senior partner David Morley and is run by Emma Turnbull and Sue Wisbey.

“The aim for us was to create a programme that would provide broader access to the world of law and business, as well as high quality work experience to help less privileged young people get a foot on the career ladder,” explained Ms. Wisbey.

Ms. Turbull added that they wanted to target students from low-income households who weren’t necessarily getting top grades but who had ambition and drive.

“Students whose backgrounds meant they would probably never consider a career in the City or know how to access opportunities. No one was really focusing on that harder to reach group back then,” she added.

The latest round of Smart Start has just launched.

For many lawyers, ‘small law’ is more desirable

Working for a large law firm has its merits but for a growing cohort of lawyers, smaller firms are more attractive.

According to a survey by LexisNexis in the UK, two thirds of solicitors at small firms previously worked for medium, large, or top-tier firms and more than half said they would consider a role at a small firm next.

The Law Society Gazette reports that less than 20% would want to work for a large firm.

However, there is concern among respondents that working for a small firm may affect their credibility and others were concerned that smaller capacity may force them to turn down good work.